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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Eileen Gray

b. 1879, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland; d. 1976, Paris

Eileen Gray was an architect and furniture designer who carved out an independent approach within the parameters of the International Style. After training at the Slade School of Art in London and with the Japanese lacquer maker Seizo Sugawara, Gray was recognized for her innovations pairing Eastern and French design in pieces exhibited at the 1913 Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Gray had additional success when she designed a villa on the Mediterranean coast named E-1027 (1927), the Badovici Apartment in Paris (1930), and a cultural center exhibited by Le Corbusier at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris (1937). Having designed with steel, aluminum, and glass throughout her career, Gray began experimenting with plastics just prior to her death.